After concluding the first day at the Microsoft Convergence 2012 event here in Houston, TX, I can summarize my feelings in one sentence, “It is a great time to be alive and working on collaboration!” Why do I say that? Here are a few brief insights:
The initial general session opened with a song that was composed by artists working from different locations around the globe. It was impressive to hear music that these individuals put together without having met each other. During the session, I was taking notes on my slate using OneNote – these notes were syncing with our SharePoint server back at the office. I was also having chat discussions with colleagues both at the event and back at the office via Lync and email. Later, I was on a Skype call with a new prospect in Australia. And it began to sink in how much things have changed over the past 10 years. The idea of collaborating in real time, or even iteratively, with people around the globe, has moved from an idea to the norm.
But as much as things have changed, the future is even brighter. I’ll do a separate blog on some of the changes to expect with the rollout of new versions of Dynamics CRM, SharePoint and Windows in the next 12 months, but here are facts you may not know about Microsoft:
After many years of working as a Microsoft partner, one of the things I have grown to appreciate is their approach to the market. Make no mistake, I don’t drink all of the Microsoft kool-aid and I know that many have a very negative view of Microsoft just because they are the “big kid on the block.” But they are doing a lot of things right and they get very little credit for it. Specifically:
I realize that this sounds a little bit like an advertisement for Microsoft. From what I’ve seen, however, Microsoft attracts an undue amount of criticism. I have, admittedly, sometimes been in the chorus of voices offering (hopefully constructive) criticism. But this is an organization that is having a tremendously positive impact for their customers, for their partners and for their employees. With the values they have in place, I hope they thrive for a long time to come.
Having been around collaboration (from the process, technical and human sides) for over 20 years, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been before about the prospects for the future. Not just because of what Microsoft is doing, but because of how the entire world is changing. Here’s to working together to use collaboration to make positive changes, provide tools that enable us to express a genuine care for colleagues and customers, and free people and businesses to innovate!
The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.
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